Echo Park (1986)

R | 88 mins | Comedy | 2 April 1986

Director:

Robert Dornhelm

Writer:

Michael Ventura

Producer:

Walter Shenson

Cinematographer:

Karl Kofler

Editor:

Ingrid Koller

Production Designer:

Bernt Capra

Production Company:

Sasha-Wien Film
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HISTORY

       Briefs in the 31 Aug 1984 DV and 11 Sep 1984 HR stated that the $700,000 production moved to Vienna, Austria, on 30 Aug 1984 after completing filming in downtown Los Angeles, CA.
       According to an article in the 21 Jun 1986 LAT, actors Susan Dey and Tom Hulce were called back to the set four weeks after completing principal photography. Director Robert Dornhelm reportedly told them that producers feared he had shot a noncommercial film, and planned to reedit the movie to reflect a love story between Hulce and Dey. The actors found themselves at an Austrian State Film Board hearing, defending the film’s integrity, and were able to convince Austrian film board members to leave the original story intact.
       As reported in the 23 Nov 1985 Screen International, the film received critical acclaim at the 1985 Deauville [France], Venice [Italy] and London [U. K.] Film Festivals.

      The following acknowledgment appears in end credits: “Special thanks to Peter Shepherd.” End credits state: “This film has been produced with a grant from the Austrian Film Fund and ... More Less

       Briefs in the 31 Aug 1984 DV and 11 Sep 1984 HR stated that the $700,000 production moved to Vienna, Austria, on 30 Aug 1984 after completing filming in downtown Los Angeles, CA.
       According to an article in the 21 Jun 1986 LAT, actors Susan Dey and Tom Hulce were called back to the set four weeks after completing principal photography. Director Robert Dornhelm reportedly told them that producers feared he had shot a noncommercial film, and planned to reedit the movie to reflect a love story between Hulce and Dey. The actors found themselves at an Austrian State Film Board hearing, defending the film’s integrity, and were able to convince Austrian film board members to leave the original story intact.
       As reported in the 23 Nov 1985 Screen International, the film received critical acclaim at the 1985 Deauville [France], Venice [Italy] and London [U. K.] Film Festivals.

      The following acknowledgment appears in end credits: “Special thanks to Peter Shepherd.” End credits state: “This film has been produced with a grant from the Austrian Film Fund and ORF.”
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
31 Aug 1984.
---
Hollywood Reporter
11 Sep 1984.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 Apr 1986
p. 3, 18.
Los Angeles Times
21 Jun 1986
Calendar, p. 1, 6.
Los Angeles Times
28 Mar 1986
p. 1 , 17.
New York Times
25 Apr 1986
p. 18.
Screen International
23 Nov 1985.
---
Variety
11 Sep 1985
p. 15, 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Sasha-Wien Film present
A Walter Shenson Production
A Robert Dornhelm Film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
Unit prod mgr
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Asst cam
Key gaffer
Key grip
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Carpenter
MUSIC
Mus consultant
Mus supv
Mus supv
Mus asst to Bill Wyman
SOUND
Orig sd
Sd mixer
Re-rec at MGM/UA
Re-rec at MGM/UA
Re-rec at MGM/UA
VISUAL EFFECTS
Titles
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
In charge of Austrian prod
Scr supv
Prod asst
Prod's asst
Extras casting
Celebrity double provided by
COLOR PERSONNEL
SOURCES
SONGS
“Strip-O-Gram,” written by Bo Harwood & Bobbi Permanent
“She’s About A Mover,” written by Doug Sahn, performed by Jimmy Woods & The Immortals, produced by Jeff Eyrich
“Immortal Strut,” written by Jimmy Woods & The Immortals, performed by Jimmy Woods & The Immortals, produced by Jeff Eyrich
+
SONGS
“Strip-O-Gram,” written by Bo Harwood & Bobbi Permanent
“She’s About A Mover,” written by Doug Sahn, performed by Jimmy Woods & The Immortals, produced by Jeff Eyrich
“Immortal Strut,” written by Jimmy Woods & The Immortals, performed by Jimmy Woods & The Immortals, produced by Jeff Eyrich
“The Need,” written by Dean Chamberlain, performed by Dean Chamberlain, produced by Jeff Eyrich
“Twice As Hard,” written by Steve Richardson & Chris Show, performed by The Sights, produced by Jeff Eyrich
“Wild Roses,” written by Mark Walton, Shandi & Tom Boles, performed by Shandi, produced by Jeff Eyrich
“Tomorrow’s Gonna Be A Better Day,” written by Mark Walton & Tom Boles, performed by Johnette, produced by Jeff Eyrich
“My Eyes Have Seen,” written by Black Patti, performed by Black Patti, produced by Jeff Eyrich
“Imagination,” written by David Baerwald, performed by David Baerwald, produced by Jeff Eyrich
“Give And Take,” music by Bill Wyman, lyrics by John Wilson, performed by Julie Christensen and Mike Sherwood, produced by Jeff Eyrich.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
2 April 1986
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 2 April 1986
New York opening: week of 25 April 1986
Production Date:
began summer 1984 in Los Angeles, CA
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Duration(in mins):
88
MPAA Rating:
R
Countries:
Austria, United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Echo Park, California, August Reichtenstein, a fitness trainer, wakes up from a nightmare, and lifts weights to calm his nerves. His grunts wake his neighbor, May Greer, an aspiring actress, and her eight-and-a half-year-old son, Henry, who is scared and asks to sleep with her. The next day, May places classified ads, seeking a new roommate. At a fitness club, August’s boss, Syd, insists that he improve his interaction with customers so that his comments are more positive. Later, May tells August that she is interviewing some prospective borders, and asks him to be quiet so that his workouts do not sound like lovemaking. Five potential roommates look at the bedroom for rent, but pass. When a pizza deliveryman named Jonathan makes a delivery, May mentions that she has not had any luck renting her spare bedroom. Although Jonathan is not looking to share an apartment, he rents May’s room. Later, as August helps Jonathan unload his belongings, May’s friend, Gloria, arrives, but May insists that Jonathan is not husband material, just a friend. After the move is complete, the group enjoys hotdogs on the front porch. August announces that his destiny awaits him at the Austrian Consulate, where he will someday meet Arnold Schwarzenegger. Later, August walks May to her apartment, then strips down to his American flag underwear, and entertains her with bodybuilder poses. When she invites him to her bedroom for lovemaking, Jonathan hears their antics through the thin walls. The next morning, Jonathan hears August’s grunts. A few days later, Hugo, a “strip-o-gram” business owner, answers May’s classified ad, and pretends to offer an audition for a role. However, she soon finds herself ... +


In Echo Park, California, August Reichtenstein, a fitness trainer, wakes up from a nightmare, and lifts weights to calm his nerves. His grunts wake his neighbor, May Greer, an aspiring actress, and her eight-and-a half-year-old son, Henry, who is scared and asks to sleep with her. The next day, May places classified ads, seeking a new roommate. At a fitness club, August’s boss, Syd, insists that he improve his interaction with customers so that his comments are more positive. Later, May tells August that she is interviewing some prospective borders, and asks him to be quiet so that his workouts do not sound like lovemaking. Five potential roommates look at the bedroom for rent, but pass. When a pizza deliveryman named Jonathan makes a delivery, May mentions that she has not had any luck renting her spare bedroom. Although Jonathan is not looking to share an apartment, he rents May’s room. Later, as August helps Jonathan unload his belongings, May’s friend, Gloria, arrives, but May insists that Jonathan is not husband material, just a friend. After the move is complete, the group enjoys hotdogs on the front porch. August announces that his destiny awaits him at the Austrian Consulate, where he will someday meet Arnold Schwarzenegger. Later, August walks May to her apartment, then strips down to his American flag underwear, and entertains her with bodybuilder poses. When she invites him to her bedroom for lovemaking, Jonathan hears their antics through the thin walls. The next morning, Jonathan hears August’s grunts. A few days later, Hugo, a “strip-o-gram” business owner, answers May’s classified ad, and pretends to offer an audition for a role. However, she soon finds herself in training to be a birthday stripper. Later, May and Gloria have a laugh because the orientation was so long that Gloria, waiting in a parked car, called the police to rescue May. However, May is thrilled to have a job that is entertainment-related, will bring in more money, and may provide some industry contacts. Henry wants to know if May will still consider him her son if she becomes an actress, and she reassures him. One day, Jonathan picks up Henry after school, gives him the nickname “Hank,” and Hank helps Jonathan with his deliveries. At home, Jonathan questions whether May’s choice to do strip-o-grams is a good career move. May does not like the scrutiny and ends the conversation. Later, May performs a strip-o-gram at a party. As she unhooks her bra, the “birthday boy’s” friend tells him to “take a bite out of it,” referring to a birthday cake in the shape of buttocks, but May thinks the comment is directed at her. She becomes self-conscious and leaves. Later, she tells Hugo she is no good as a stripper, but he tutors her on how to succeed. May then practices her routine on August, but Jonathan leaves before they become passionate. One day, bikers beat Jonathan after he delivers a pizza. August recruits friends from his gym, and goes to the biker home to avenge Jonathan. Soon, May becomes proficient at stripping, and confesses to Jonathan that she enjoys the work. She suspects that he is more than a deliveryman, but he does not reveal he is a songwriter. After August is cast as a Viking in a commercial, the group celebrates with a day at the beach. May rejects August’s advances. Then August asks Jonathan if he is heterosexual. Jonathan explains that he is interested in a meaningful relationship, not casual sex. One day, May, dressed as a bride, is instructed by a note to begin her striptease in a seemingly empty motel room. Jonathan appears, dressed in a tuxedo, and confesses that he loves her. She assaults him, but when she calms down, she explains that she is not good at love, but they can remain roommates if he behaves. She then wishes him a happy birthday, and pours a bottle of champagne on his head. Meanwhile, August throws a tantrum and vandalizes the health club when Syd refuses to let him promote “Viking Spray” there. August is arrested, and after receiving a telephone call from the Los Angeles police, August’s father journeys from Austria to pay his son a surprise visit. Later, May and Jonathan post bail, and August is released from jail. At a party where May is stripping, Jonathan and Hank make a pizza delivery. When Hank sees his mother being fondled by a party guest, he runs away. After a chase, mother and son have a tearful reunion. Soon, Hugo stops by May’s apartment to tell her that a party guest wants to hire her to be in a commercial. May celebrates with her friends. Meanwhile, August’s father appears, and August asks why he is there. The father responds by asking what exactly August is doing in America and slaps his son’s face. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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